Title: Finding Emma
Author: K. Ryan
Publication Date: October 20, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Synopsis: For the last year, Emma Owens has been quietly detached from everything and everyone. Desperate to escape the demons that chased her out of her hometown, she’s learned that life here in Milwaukee is just less complicated and less tragic when it’s a one-woman show.
In the span of one week, everything about her carefully orchestrated solitude comes crashing down. Then again, she can’t really ignore the scratching coming from her patio door or the hungry, pleading grey eyes reflecting in the moonlight. Those four little white paws and that tiger-striped fur thaws some of the ice keeping her heart on lockdown and she’s attached before she knows what hits her. Emma doesn’t have any better luck ignoring another pair of eyes, and her new neighbor, Finn Matthews, with his shy persistence and a painful past of his own, slowly chips away at the rest of the ice trapping Emma in her insecurities and her loneliness.
Taking a chance on her new roommate and her next-door neighbor opens a door she’d previously slammed shut: the door to a new lease on life and the right to forgive, to fight back, and to heal.
And the craziest part about it?
It all started with a stray cat.
She was lost and he found her.
**Finding Emma is a full-length, standalone contemporary romance. Due to language and some sexual situations, this book is not intended for readers under 18**
My Review: It has been a long time since I’ve read a book that, when I finished it, I want to drop everything and post a review. I literally finished this book less than 30 minutes ago. It’s also rare for a book to be on my mind this much. There is just so much I want to say about Finding Emma.
While Finding Emma is a romance at its core, the book goes way beyond that. This is more the just a fluffy romance. As I read the book, I went through a lot of emotions – happy, sad, angry (and not necessarily for the reasons you might think). I laughed. I cried. I cheered and I cursed. This book kind of put me through the wringer.
There is a real depth to the main characters, Emma and Finn, that goes beyond the usual hero and heroine of a love story. Finn has a tortured romantic past involving betrayal that has left him a lonely shell of his former happy self. Ryan develops his character into a strong leading man that is mature and reasonable and realistic. Emma is a broken young woman. She made a choice that later came back to haunt her and sent her into a self-imposed prison of shame, distrust and loneliness. It takes cat named Oliver to finally let Emma see herself a little differently and to bring her and Finn together.
I won’t spoil on all the details, but the real star of this book is social issue that is at the core of Emma’s issues. The issue is real and it is devastating and life-altering and absolutely unforgivable (this is my opinion and my opinion alone). I won’t spoil the specific details, but I will say it involves cyber-bullying and cyber-bullying is never okay. I also recommend you read the Author’s Note at the end of the book. I also wanted to comment on the author’s suggestion that this is not necessarily appropriate for readers under 18. There are sexual situations in the book, but only a few and they are very tastefully written with only implication and not description. I say this because I feel the subject matter is important enough and written honestly enough that I would allow my teenager to read it to fully understand the implications of the issue.
I try to give honest reviews and no book is perfect. My only real criticism with Finding Emma was the length. There were a few sections of the book I found incessantly wordy, important to the story, but could have been pared down a bit. Otherwise, that’s all I’ve got.
Finding Emma is an emotional ride that takes you on a journey to redemption, acceptance and love.